Published On: Thu, Jun 21st, 2012

Scottish courtroom shut down due to scabies

The discovery of a defendant’s highly contagious skin infestation prompted a courtroom in Scotland to shut down for a period for fumigation and disinfection.


The news source, scotsman.com reports that it was business as usual at the Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday until it was discovered that 64-year-old defendant, Patrick O’Connor suffered from the skin condition, scabies.

Court officials were concerned that O’Connor, who waited on public benches in the courthouse and used the men’s bathroom, may have passed the mite infestation on to others in the area.

When it was discovered that O’Connor had scabies, Sheriff Ken Hogg adjourned the court while officials and lawyers had a hurried consultation about what to do. It was decided to close the courtroom and toilets and to fumigate and disinfect the areas he had used according to the report.

O’Connor, of Seafield, West Lothian, denies assaulting a woman at his home on December 23 last year. He is due to stand trial next month for allegedly hitting Maureen Hoban on the head.

Scabies is an easily spread skin disease caused by a very small species of mite.

Scabies is found worldwide among people of all groups and ages. It is spread by direct contact with infected people, and less often by sharing clothing or bedding. Sometimes whole families are affected.

The mites that cause scabies burrow into the skin and deposit their eggs, forming a burrow that looks like a pencil mark. Eggs mature in 21 days. The itchy rash is an allergic response to the mite.

According to a Scottish Court Service spokesman,

“As a precautionary measure, business was moved to another available courtroom. No business was lost and the transfer caused only a very short delay.

“The courtroom will be professionally cleaned and should be ready for use again today.”

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Bruce says:

    Scabies !?!?! Yuck

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